Last updated on Jan 6th, 2021 at 04:30 pm

My initial thought on this book was that it would be just another dystopian novel about a deadly virus which has all but eliminated humanity. There would be survivors, there would be a cure, there would be a satisfactory ending.

Let me start by saying none of this actually happened

The narrative hook draws you in almost immediately. This Mortal Coil has an explosive start, both literally and figuratively, and the first chapter left my mind reeling. The content is quite graphic – more brutal and bloody than most YA dystopias, but the unique take on the end-of-days virus was refreshing, if a little stomach-churning.

The plot

Set in a future which sees genetic and technology so advanced that people are implanted with processors and can download apps to modify their DNA, the story follows the journey of Catarina Agatta, a 17-year-old hacker whose father is one of the leading scientists of his era.

Cat’s father is the only man who has any hope of finding a cure for the plague, but when he is abducted by a powerful organisation called Cartaxus, it falls to Cat to decipher his code and find the cure herself.

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Beneath the science is a story of one girl’s courage and determination to save the human race

During the course of her mission, she discovers secrets which make her question everything she has ever believed.

Throughout the book, there are dark undercurrents of modern day society’s need to conform, and our intrinsic fear of anything out of the ordinary. It is a powerful message, if you read between the lines, but is cleverly disguised in a fast-paced and action-packed story.

This Mortal Coil is a high-tech book, but beneath the science is a story of one girl’s courage and determination to save the human race. A gripping debut from an author who is definitely one to watch.

Publisher: Penguin RandomHouse
ISBN: 9780141379272


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